Friends have asked me why Hollywood would remake The Omen, a film remembered fleetingly, if at all, for a few images of terror, Gregory Peck, and the pulsing, moody Carmina Burana-like score, an Oscar-winner for composer Jerry Goldsmith. Their concern is a slightly embarrassed mix of indignation and curiosity: Their attitude is that if movies they remember fondly don't need to be remade, what justifies a return to The Omen, which wasn't very good the first time?

But remakes often happen to correct significant errors with original films, namely that they didn't make money for the right people. Why should Dr. Seuss's estate alone profit from How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Can't Ron Howard get some of that sweet Who-ville coin? And so, we get remakes -- even remakes of films as marginal as The Omen.

But then again, if pop culture is often a indicator of how people are actually feeling -- if there's a link between the stories on the front page of the New York Times and the books at the top of the Best-seller lists in the Book Review section -- then we can see that supernatural claptrap with one foot in the Dark Ages and the other somewhere around the End Times has been selling pretty good recently: The Da Vinci Code, the Left Behind book series. So at the beginning of John Moore's version of The Omen, footage from 9/11, Katrina and the Indonesian tsunami provokes plenty of long, serious looks from The Vatican's top men, who've met to decipher symbols from the Book of Revelation with a series of PowerPoint slides...
categories Reviews, Cinematical